“America must never forget that when a cop and an inner city kid talk to each other, miracles can happen,” words spoken by Lonnie Ali at the public memorial service for her husband, Muhammad Ali.
The Greatness of Ali began after he had a talk with retired Louisville Police Officer Joe Martin who taught him to box. That was the start of the man known to the world as “The Greatest.”
Ali died on Friday, June 3, at the age of 74. The world watched as Muhammad Ali’s life was celebrated in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., June 9-10. Two services filled to capacity, a procession through the streets of Louisville was a send-off fit for the King he was.
A traditional Muslim service was held on Thursday at Freedom Hall with a capacity crowd of 14,000 attending. The procession and Interfaith Memorial Service were held on Friday.
Although Ali touched the lives of so many throughout the world, the people of Louisville knew what others did not know. The procession route included a stretch of Broadway Street. In the earlier days, after Ali won his fights, he loved to come back to Louisville. He drove a big recreational vehicle west on Broadway, sometimes very fast, fast enough that the police would pull him over. But when they looked inside and saw it was the Champ, they would just smile and tell him to slow down. It is that incident and so many others that are unique to Louisville. Ali was loved by his hometown and he always made it clear that he indeed loved his hometown.